Start-up DroidSecurity tackles Google Android security

First offering is antivirus and phone-tracking suite for Android smartphones

Start-up DroidSecurity is developing consumer and enterprise security software for the Google Android operating system, with its first offering a consumer-oriented antivirus and phone-tracking suite for Android smartphones.

Cell phone security

DroidSecurity Internet Security Suite, which costs $5 for one year, is a Java-based antivirus scanner. It also provides a service called Findr to trace lost phones if they're left on, or detail the last known location of a phone that's turned off. A third feature is CheckMate, to manage Android security ratings.

Although there are not many known Android viruses today -- DroidSecurity co-founder and CTO Dror Shalev counts only one -- the Israeli-based firm believes as the market for Google Android phones and netbooks grows, there will be an inevitable increase in malware.

"We feel that as this market becomes more mature, it will also be more exploited," Shalev says. The former security architect at Check Point Software left that job last year to co-found DroidSecurity with CEO Eran Pfeffer and Omri Sigelman, vice president of marketing.

More than 100,000 individuals have already downloaded for free DroidSecurity's basic application, formerly called "AntiVirus," via the Google Android apps site, Shalev says. In terms of competition, the start-up sees Kaspersky Lab and Symantec also gearing up to secure Google Android, Shalev says.

Under its business arrangement with Google, DroidSecurity will fork over to Google 30% of the sales price of paid applications purchased online through Google, with Google handling the billing. "If you buy the full version, we pay 30% of the price to Google, but it's still better than with Apple and the iPhone," Shalev says. He prefers the open-source Google Android operating system over Apple's iPhone, which he calls more of a closed model.

The DroidSecurity security suite is also available at the company's Web site.

DroidSecurity thinks Google Android phones will eventually be adopted by the enterprise, so the security start-up is looking at developing a common management platform for Google Android and other smartphones, including the BlackBerry. The firm also intends to come up with Android-based security products for functions such as remote wiping for administrative use, and intrusion detection.

In the meantime, the firm is still busy drumming up funding, which so far remains undisclosed.

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